I can hear them… squeaking. From drawers, underneath cushions, lurking in cupboards, nestled underneath rocks... everywhere. I'm not entirely sure that's the noise spiders are supposed to make, but the little creepers are definitely making their presence known. Thankfully, Kill It With Fire knows it's riddled with the eight-legged freaks and arms you with enough weaponry to take out a city's worth of arachnids, and then some.
As the name suggests, much of your arsenal in this spider massacre simulation is flame-themed, but initially, you're equipped with nothing but a sturdy clipboard. Attached to the front is your little list of objectives for each level, which starts off simply enough: Kill your first spider. Eventually, this do-to list will also involve specific things to accomplish in each level, such as whacking up a bill of over $100 at the cash register at a gas station using only 10 items. They're a wonderful distraction from the chaos of spider trauma, too.
But, of course, the majority of your time in Kill It With Fire is spent discovering a plethora of ways to find and kill spiders. The clipboard is fine to begin with, but even the basic spiders will need multiple straight-on smacks to be squished completely. Of course, you've also got to find them first. Initially, it's just a case of gingerly lifting any interactive item that you think the telltale squeak is being emitted from, and waiting to see if a spider emerges. But later on you'll gain an upgradeable scanner that gives you a much better idea of where the blighters are hiding.
Combine your advanced discovery techniques with an ever-growing arsenal of weapons - both traditional and improvised - and you'll quickly become quite an efficient spider hitman. A deodorant can and a lighter make a great rudimentary flamethrower for decimating entire rooms in seconds, but molotovs are even more effective. My tool of choice is currently a frying pan for impressive-sounding one smack kills, alongside a recently obtained strimmer for maximum leg severing.
However, there's a catch. The more aggressive you become as your spider-killing abilities strengthen, the more advanced they'll become too. Think the first levels are stressful? Just you wait: jumping spiders, spiders that release baby spiders when they die, camouflage spiders… the increasingly terrifying list goes on and on. By the time you're six levels in, you'll be praying the next rock you'll flip will be just a normal spider.
Too many legs, too many eyes
For anyone with arachnophobia, Kill It With Fire feels like it should be a kind of therapy - and that's speaking as someone who can't get close enough to a spider to put a glass or box over it to evict it from my home. But, despite the fact I feel empowered smacking the living poop out of the hairy-legged beasts, I have had nightmares about Kill It With Fire. It's the way they scuttle. And don't even get me started on the jumping ones that leap at your face with such precision my screams brought my partner tearing in from another room in the house to check if I was alright. Sometimes reader, I feel like they're actually crawling on me.
But my own neuroses don't detract from the fact that Kill It With Fire is inventive with its spider scares. Cleverly hidden beasties know exactly the right time to emerge with a sudden leap for maximum fear factor, and getting increasingly bizarre and bloodthirsty weaponry is always fun. Add in all the various side-challenges, and the endgame Arachno-Gauntlet challenges that really up the ante, and Kill It With Fire is a great package. Nightmares aside, of course.